06/14/17: ABC’s Golden State; NHL’s North American spike; Supercross’ 2018 jump

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Good morning. It’s Wednesday June 14, 2017 and this is your first early morning Sports briefing.

Game 5 of the NBA Finals clinched victory for the Warriors, and spelled a big win for ABC to rank as the most-watched NBA Finals since 1998, according to Nielsen. The five-game series averaged a total live audience (television plus streaming) of 20,840,000 average viewers, and Monday’s Game 5 telecast snaring a total live audience of more than 25,003,000 average viewers, making it the most-watched Game 5 since 1998.
In addition, the game’s 16.0 metered market rating marks the highest-rated NBA Finals Game 5 since 1998, according to Nielsen and was up 13% over Game 5 in both 2016 and 2015. On the digital front, last night’s Game 5 was the most-streamed NBA Finals Game 5 ever and the second-most streamed NBA game ever, generating an average minute streaming audience of 537,000 viewers, with 2,144,200 unique viewers and 92,377,200 total minutes streamed.

Meanwhile, NBC Sports reports that Game 6 of the 2017 Stanley Cup Final, which saw the Pittsburgh Penguins clinch the franchise’s fifth Stanley Cup Championship, score an average audience of 11.5 million across North America (NBC; CBC/SN;TVA Sports). That ranks as the most-watched Stanley Cup Playoff game in North America since Game 6 of the 2013 Stanley Cup Final. Overall, the 2017 Stanley Cup Final attracted an average audience of 8.09 million across North America, marking a year-over-year increase of 23%, while the playoffs delivered a 52% year-over-year increase in national viewership.
Speaking of which, NHL Network announced that it will simulcast WPXI Pittsburgh’s coverage of the Pittsburgh Penguins’ Stanley Cup Championship Parade and Rally today starting at 11a. Later in the day, NHL Now will air live at 4p, followed by NHL Tonight at 6p.
The 2018 Monster Energy Supercross schedule was unveiled, detailing plans for a 17-race schedule for next year, and the action starting Jan. 6 at Angel Stadium in Anaheim. The slate will see eight races in the Mountain or West Coast time zones with nine on deck in the Central or East Coast with all races broadcast on the FOX family of networks. Destinations next year include a return to Foxborough and Houston. “Monster Energy Supercross draws nearly 50,000 fans on average per race and more than 800,000 fans experienced the spectacle in person last season,” said Nicole Feld, Executive Vice President, Feld Entertainment. “Our goal is continued growth of the sport and with this schedule we believe we can surpass the 1 million mark in live attendance in 2018. Hosting races in more of the country’s larger capacity stadiums around the U.S. will allow us to expand the reach of the sport.”
FOX Sports and the San Francisco 49ers announced the return of the Foster Farms Bowl to the company lineup, with the game set to take place on Dec. 27 at 8:30p on the FOX broadcast network and in Spanish on FOX Deportes, “We are excited to once again showcase the Foster Farms Bowl on broadcast television and in Spanish on FOX Deportes,” said Larry Jones, FOX Sports Executive Vice President, Business Operations. “Last year’s game went down to the wire, and we look forward to another great showdown in 2017.”
Bellator signed MMA commentators Mike Goldberg and Mauro Ranallo to multi-event broadcast agreements with the promotion that will kick in g with Bellator NYC: Sonnen vs. Silva and Bellator 180: Davis vs. Bader on June 24. The pair will join a broadcast team that currently includes Jimmy Smith, Jenn Brown and Chael Sonnen.
The NCAA Division I Men’s and Women’s Golf Committees selected Grayhawk Golf Club in Scottsdale to host the 2020, 2021 and 2022 Division I Men’s and Women’s Golf Championships. The championships will be hosted by Arizona State University The 2020 championships will be held from May 22-27 (women) and May 29- June 3 (men).  “By choosing one host location for a three-year period beginning in 2020, we will be able to maximize the operations efficiency around the championships while building marketing continuity that will continue to showcase our student-athletes, coaches and teams,” said Jim Fee, chair of the Division I Women’s Golf Committee and associate director of athletics for events and championships at the University of South Florida.  “We are at an unprecedented time for our game and are looking forward to the 2018 championships and beyond.”
In local news, the United Soccer League announced the expansion of the USL Television Network to Pittsburgh via a broadcast deal with CW affiliate WPCW-TV to showcase select Riverhounds matches this season. On-air talent is provided and games are produced by USL Productions.
Meanwhile, staple Red Sox broadcaster Jerry Remy tweeted that his lung cancer has returned, after undergoing treatments last winter. He told the Boston Globe that he will have surgery after the conclusion of the team’s upcoming road trip.
Entries are NOW Open!
The 5th Annual Cynopsis Digital Model D & It List Awards:
Honoring the best in online video, content, advertising, talent, and digital media’s movers and shakers.

Audio and fitness headphone brand Monster is launching its “Sound of Champions” campaign by partnering with Roc Nation Sports and the summer’s boxing showdown, Andre Ward vs. Sergey Kovalev 2: “The Rematch” Powered by Monster at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas on June 17. The campaign comes part of a new, continuing Monster “Sound of…” series, which will focus on how athletes use music as an inspirational tool during workouts, and how they look to Monster to provide the powerful sound they need to excel.
With the Golden State Warriors laying claim to the Larry O’Brien Championship Trophy, Bud Light is launching content “raising a beer to all the dunks, steals, blocks and most of all, friendships formed over the course of 82 games.” The video can be viewed here.
Oakley gears up for the U.S. Open with a new take on its One Obsession #CantStop campaign, featuring Bubba Watson. The multi-channel brand campaign includes broadcast, digital, social, advertising, retail and an enhanced experience on oakley.com/one-obsession with Watson’s One Obsession 30-second spot debuting Saturday on FOX.

Twitter reports the top Tweeted moments from the NBA Finals: 1) Warriors win NBA Finals (Game 5) 2) Warriors complete comeback, win 118-113, go up 3-0 in series (Game 3) and 3) Steph Curry’s 3-pointer gives Warriors 129-115 lead in Game 5. Meanwhile, Kevin Durant was mentioned 1 million times during Game 5 alone.
Facebook reports that 38 million people had more than 209 million interactions related to the NBA Finals this year on the platform, which reports that the most talked-about player of the series on Facebook was LeBron James, followed by Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant.
FloSports announced plans to partner with the Amateur Athletic Union to provide live coverage for 13 AAU track and field events across the country on FloTrack.com. The alliance includes live coverage of the 51st annual AAU Junior Olympic Games from Ypsilanti, Mich. from July 31-Aug. 5.

Entertainment agency PMK BNC is getting into the esports space, announcing the formation of a new cross-agency practice with Momentum Worldwide focused on connecting brands with video games, esports and the nearly two billion video game fans around the globe. The practice provides consultation services for brands interested in the world of gaming and esports, identifying opportunities for sponsorships, in-game marketing, influencer marketing, team and league representation, and more; best-in-class activation expertise for brand experiences and live events; branded content; digital/social engagements; and more. The new practice will be led by Momentum’s Glenn Minerley and PMK BNC’s Mark Van Lommel.
GINX Esports TV is dedicating Friday night to Fight Night, serving up its first live ‘all-nighter’. The esports/gaming network, which in now available in over 45 million homes across 80 countries – will showcase three live international esports events back-to-back and uninterrupted over the course of this weekend. Events will include the OGN Apex S3 from Seoul, Korea; followed by live coverage of the Call of Duty World League in Anaheim, and wrapping up from Atlanta for the ELeague CS:GO Clash for Cash rematch between Astralis and Virtus.Pro.

Mike O’Hagan is joining The Players’ Tribune to serve as Vice President of Operations where he will oversee content and sales operations. Prior to joining The Players’ Tribune, O’Hagan served as EVP Operations & Marketing at SpinMedia.
SportsCastr.Live announced the addition of Charles “Chuck” Baker to its team of advisors. Baker currently serves as the Co-Chair of the Sports Industry Group at O’Melveny & Myers LLP.

Cubs/Mets on MLB Network at 7p.

The Deadline is 2 WEEKS away!
Being a “Rising Star” means being part of something bigger; there’s a talented, driven group of people who are excited about the “what’s next.”
– Haley Schilling, Associate, Digital at IFC
Join us for the 2017 Cynopsis Rising Star Awards as we honor the future leaders of the media industry and celebrate ‘what’s next.’

ON THIS DAY in 1974: Nolan Ryan strikes out 19 against the Red Sox.
In The Know : Nolan Ryan made his MLB debut with which team? ( Email [email protected] with your answer and be sure to include your name, company and city.)
Answer to Our Last Sports Trivia Question: What is the only country to play in every World Cup, counting both the men’s and women’s tournaments? Answer: Brazil. Kudos: Andreas Droste-Time Inc./NY; Russell Sargeant-NBC Sports/NY; Synda Kollman-Charter Marketing Group/Deerfield Beach; Andy Pittman-TAMU/College Station; Micah Maurin-Raycom Media/Montgomery; Matt Sautter-Imagine Communications/Denver; Tom Moore-Kalt Productions/LA; David Westberg-SAG-AFTRA Federal Credit Union/Burbank

Later — Chris

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